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Politically Correct Thinking and State Education

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You may recall seeing the December 24, 1990, issue of Newsweek on the newsstands. The cover had a granite wall with raised lettering, spelling out the words, "Thought Police." If you read the article, you learned about something called "politically correct thinking." A growing number of institutions of higher learning around the country have been establishing new and stringent linguistic and behavioral guidelines for their students and faculties. All words and actions that may in any way be interpreted to contain racial, sexist or homosexual slum carry increasingly severe penalties. For students, it can mean anything from a financial fine to expulsion from the school. For faculty, it can mean grounds for dismissal, denial of tenure or lack of promotion. From the Newsweek article, the innocent and uninformed reader would have gained the impression that in ...

Reflections on National Service

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National service looms as one of the most dangerous threats to the American people in our 200-year history. Previously advocated only by liberals, national service is now also embraced by many on the conservative side of the political spectrum, as evidenced by the recent book, Gratitude, by America's foremost conservative, William F. Buckley, Jr. The versions of national service are many and varied. Most of them are directed to the youth of America. They range from universal conscription to more "benign" foals of coercion advocated by Mr. Buckley. But all of them have at their core one essential principle: that the state, rather than being a servant of the people, is their master; and as their master, has the power to force the citizenry, either directly or indirectly, to serve others. National service violates every principle of ...

Book Reviews: Economics on Trial

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Economics on Trial: Lies, Myths, and Realities by Mark Skousen (Homewood, Illinois: Business One Irwin, 1990) 314 pp.; $21.95 (h). For 150 years after Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776, most economists started from a common premise in their writings: unhampered, free markets were demonstrably superior to any form of governmental regulation and control. Even when some economists argued for governmental intervention, their assumption was that laissez faire was the desirable rule to follow. The burden of proof fell on the advocate of intervention to justify why people should not be free to manage their own affairs and peacefully compete and exchange with one another in the marketplace. After 1936, however, the assumptions were reversed. The starting premise became that markets could ...